# Questions tagged [problems]

Chess problems consist of a board position and a task. Most ask for a line of play that mates black in a set amount of moves, or a combination that results in a winning position. Many other types exist, including, but not limited to, construction tasks for various positions and proof games that have numerous goals, selfmates, helpmates, and retrograde analysis. Tournaments and championships exist for composing of original problems and for speed-solving.

381 questions
Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
203 views

### Bishops standing on their toes

Another silly idea: [FEN "1B1B1BkB/B1B1B1B1/1B1B1B1B/B1B1B1B1/1B1B1B1B/B1B1B1B1/KB1B1B1B/BNB1B1B1 w - - 0 0"] How many bishops must be removed such that the position is won? How long does ...
• 15.4k
1 vote
238 views

### Chess against Chuck Norris (starting position with lots of queens)

Just plain silly. Replace all pieces of Black (except the king — you are not Chuck Norris, you must have one) with queens. The starting position is then a Mate in 3 (#3). Challenge: Replace only a few ...
• 15.4k
1 vote
121 views

### The king fell off the board

Give a position (White to move) with the bK missing. If it is inserted on any legal square, it is mated in one move by the wQ, with a different mate for each square. (Point of side conditions: If you ...
• 15.4k
72 views

### Duplex forced selfstalemate

Ludwig Zagler, Chess Ultimates 12/1974 [FEN "3nBb2/3PRP2/2ppPPpp/2nk2pb/2p2QN1/1r1rBKP1/7q/8 w - - 0 0"] self=1, 7 solutions This is the record (7 variants) for forced single side ...
• 15.4k
2k views

### Play a chess game so that at the end you can start a game of checkers

Yes, it is silly. So you begin at the normal starting position and help-play until Black is mated (White shall have the last move since Black begins in checkers) and the mating position looks like the ...
• 15.4k
1k views

### What is the highest possible number of pawn captures in a game?

What is the highest number of pawn captures possible in a game?
• 878
236 views

### Analyse a blunder

Black (me) to move. I took the knight at f3 with my knight at e1. However, Lichess analysis shows that this move is a blunder, and suggests to take the bishop at g2 instead. IMO, I am winning no ...
• 143
1 vote
148 views

### Chess problem where white mates on move 5 by underpromoting to a knight

The problem White must start with 1. e4. On move 5, white must underpromote to a knight for checkmate. IM Miodrag Perunovic told me recently that he sent this problem to Garry Kasparov for his ...
• 5,713
500 views

Construct a position which forcibly leads to White or Black being stalemated (and both events are actually possible), meaning that the position is already dead. Further (or it would be too easy) all ...
• 15.4k
517 views

### What is the largest n such that discrete forced mate in one through mate in "n" exist?

This is admittedly a bit of an obscure question, so I apologize for the awkward wording of the question. To begin, assume you are playing as White, and that a "forcing move" is any move that ...
• 477
87 views

### When material is counterproductive (construction task)

Give a position where : White has all 16 pieces. Black has a king and a single pawn, White, to move, loses. Bonus kudos if White can't stop a #1. Remove any single piece (except the kings, of course),...
• 15.4k
7k views

### Can all 64 squares be attacked or defended by the eight pieces?

Can you place the eight (non-pawn) pieces of one color on an otherwise empty chess board, such that every square (including the squares that pieces are on), is attacked / defended? This is a problem ...
• 411
108 views

### Two seriesmover stalemate constructions

Easy one: Starting position, but Black never moves. White makes n moves (no checking!) until Black is stalemated. Minimize n. Hint: You don't need to capture all Black pieces, pawns can also be ...
• 15.4k
168 views

### What should Black do?

I am reading “Ten Ways To Succeed In The Opening“ by Tim Onions and David Regis. On page 48, there is a problem I am trying to solve. However, I can’t figure out what Black should do next.
• 185
55 views

### Add as many potential moves as possible by move

8/8/7K/p7/R3b2k/6rP/4p3/4B1N1 w - - 0 1 This is an age old record by Shinkman: Black is stalemated if having the move, but the White move 1.Bb4 grants 32 moves. (Don't bother trying to top that...) ...
• 15.4k
253 views

### What is the shortest sequence of moves to move all of White's pieces up to at least the third rank?

What is the shortest sequence of moves to move all of White's pieces to the third rank or beyond? Assume in this situation that Black is cooperating in trying to achieve this goal, and as such is ...
• 477
225 views

### What checkmating move takes the most moves to set up?

An extension of this question. What checkmating move requires the greatest number of moves to be played in a game? A move is distinguished by: what colour is moving [unlike the previous question] ...
• 3,057
5k views

### What move requires the greatest number of moves before it could be played in a game?

The move e2e4 could be played on move 1. (One half-move) The move e7xd6 could be played no earlier than by black on move 3 (6 half-moves). What move(s) has the latest "earliest possible move it ...
• 3,057
1k views

### What is the longest possible forced checkmate sequence?

As title says. My question is about legal positions (positions which could be reached in actual games), but if there is a known solution with an illegal position to start the sequence, I'd be ...
292 views

### What is the chess position with biggest X, where no matter what legal move black/white does, a specific player will be mated at a max X moves later?

There are positions where no matter what legal move black or white does during this sequence of moves, an specific player, will always be mated after X moves (sometimes earlier, but after X moves its ...
345 views

### Smallest number of moves needed to mate a lone Black king on e8 with all White pieces [duplicate]

Imagine that all White pieces are in their initial position and Black only has their king on e8. What is the smallest number of moves needed for White to give checkmate?
166 views

### The quickest selfmate in 2

Duh. Clearly, the one shown there with Qxh5+ Rxh5# can be easily turned into a s#2, by e.g. B-e2-f3, Qe2 from White and c6, Q-a5xd2-d1 from Black. 9.0 moves if I added correctly. Someone care to beat ...
• 15.4k
135 views

### The fastest dualed mates in n

Hauke Reddmann asked a cool question about the quickest dual-free mates in n's from the starting position. But this is a rather limited scope. I wish to attack this idea from a different angle. What ...
• 17.1k
3k views

### Can a stalemate be forced even if it is the opponent's turn to move first?

Here are examples in which the side that desires a stalemate can force a stalemate, provided it is their turn to move. Are there positions where the side which desires a stalemate does not presently ...
• 687
153 views

### How many unoriginal pawn moves can be made in a single game?

Consider an "unoriginal pawn move" to be a pawn move whose notation matches a move already played in the game. For instance, after 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.e5, there is one unoriginal pawn move, ...
• 3,057
3k views

### Can there be a checkmate with maximum points of material (103) while covering 64 squares?

Is it possible to compose a game where these three conditions are simultaneously satisfied? No White piece is gone but every Black piece except the king is. All the white pawns are promoted to a ...
• 87
725 views

### If repetition loses, who wins KvK?

Suppose we're playing a version of chess where you lose if you repeat once an earlier position (position = arrangement of pieces + who's move it is). We're down to the wire, and we've just arrived at ...
• 11k
3k views

### How many times can the same pawn move be made in a game?

How many times in a game can "the same pawn move" be made? By "the same pawn move", I mean, a move made by a pawn that would be notated the same way. For instance, after 1.e4 e5 2....
• 3,057
1k views

### Can White avoid a loss in this endgame study by Lazar?

This is the position with White to move. This was created by Lazar in 1935 according to Susan Polgar in a Chess Daily News article from 5/27/2008. [FEN "8/3P4/3b4/8/8/1p2k2p/1Pp4P/2K5 w - - 0 1&...
• 469
2k views

### Can black convert a +5.6 game into a draw (assuming both players play optimally)?

This shows a +5.6 winning for white at depth 33 (Stockfish 13+). White does have a bit of material advantage (knight) and black has more pawn islands. Can black convert this into a draw (assuming both ...
248 views

### What is the shortest 1:16 mutual stalemate with the White king at home?

In this ancient r/chess thread, several users explored the shortest possible 1:16 mutual stalemate. StoofBuzze provided a record in 42.5 moves. However, what is the shortest such game in which the ...
• 17.1k
248 views

### Another mobility puzzle

This is the "opposite" of A mobility puzzle - I held it back because it could have interfered with Schwalbe 2021 construction challenge. Thus: Put a maximal number m of pieces on the board ...
• 15.4k
622 views

### In Crazyhouse, what is the minimum number of moves to achieve maximum material difference?

If one side captures everything and promotes all pawns (including the opponent's re-placed pawns) to a queen, it is possible to achieve 206 points of material difference 18 queens, 4 rooks/knights/4 ...
• 179
1 vote
339 views

### I have discovered a selfmate requiring 1,351 moves to enforce. How does this move-count stack up against the 'record holder'?

I've discovered a selfmate requiring 1,351 moves to enforce. What is the highest move-count known for a selfmate? {The starting position is provably legal}.
229 views

### Longest forced win after 3 moves

It is possible to reach (exactly) #8 after just 3 moves: [Title "#8 after 3 moves"] [FEN ""] 1. e3 f6 2. Qf3 Kf7 3. Nh3 Qe8! 4. Ng5+ Kg6 5. Bd3+ Kxg5 6. Qf4+ Kh5 7. g4+ Kh4 8. Qg3+...
• 2,779
119 views

### Illustrative puzzles for chess themes [closed]

This is a big-list question regarding chess themes (mostly tactical). There are some puzzles that illustrate important aspects of a tactic (esp. useful in a chess coaching setting). For example, the ...
• 1,321
113 views

### Turton theme in OTB play

I regularly surprise opponents - if unprepared - with an obscure side variant of the Sicilian which most often ends up in a pericritic Turton reversal, like e.g. so: [FEN ""] 1.e4 c5 2....
• 15.4k
193 views

### Can there be a position in which a player blocks check with checkmate?

Let's say that the first player gives a check to the second. player. Then the second player blocks and gives a checkmate. Is it possible?
• 239
257 views

### Is KQB vs KP generally sufficient to force a selfmate?

User Hauke Reddmann noted in a previous answer that there should be a straightforward way to secure selfmate against a substantially weaker opponent (i.e., force them to checkmate you): win all the ...
• 2,269
966 views

### Longest *shortest available* fixed sequence of moves leading to checkmate?

What is the longest fixed sequence of consecutive moves you can find in any legal position that guarantees checkmating the opponent regardless of their responses (whether by forcing particular ...
• 2,269
2k views

### How to solve proof games?

The following question deserves to be asked! "I see a lot of proof game problems, where I am given a diagram and have to find the unique way to reach that position in the specified number of ...
• 11k
144 views

### What does "control" mean in a chess problem? [duplicate]

When interpreting the instructions to a chess problem, is a piece automatically considered to "control" the square it's on, even if that square isn't threatened by any friendly piece, and an ...
• 141
596 views

### The quickest mate in n

Obviously inspired by the analogous selfmate question. (Helpmate would also be possible in principle, but looks a bit silly.) Thus, 1.f3 e5 2.g4 allows Black a #1, and 1.f3 e5 2.h3 a #2. 1.f4 e5 2....
• 15.4k
133 views

### Reach this position in four moves [duplicate]

I recently came across this chess problem. The requirement is to reach this position (starting from a basic board set up board) in 4 moves. How do you do it? [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pp3ppp/2p1p3/8/4P3/8/...
• 387
424 views

### Longest sequence of forcing moves?

What is the longest fixed consecutive series of moves for one player such that the other player's response is forced every move? Assume draw rules must be obeyed (threefold repetition, 50-move rule, ...
• 2,269
153 views

### A mobility puzzle

[FEN "8/8/8/8/pp6/kp6/1p6/1K6 w KQkq - 0 1"] This is a well-known position: both sides are stalemated (if it's their move). It's the lightest position with this property. Devise the ...
• 15.4k
377 views

### Trying to remember a zugzwang puzzle/study position

I am trying to remember a puzzle position, or maybe was it originated from a real game, i dont remember. Something like (white to move): 7R/rp6/pk6/p7/P7/8/1K6/8 w - - 0 1 I would like to know where ...
• 265
924 views

### An interesting positional chess riddle [duplicate]

I was thinking about a situation on a chessboard. You can call it a riddle, but I am not sure whether it is solvable or not. Let's say that there are more than 5 pieces for both Black and White, ...
• 1,114
867 views

### Mate in 1, then No Mate in 1, then Mate in 1

Anand and Bobby both are members of their school's chess club. And while cleaning up the games room at the end of the day, they saw a board with the following position: [FEN "rbR1B1Q1/k1n1nN1p/...
• 193